Chalk Talk 11/01/2017

(Courtesy of Joan Midgett)

Top Dogs at Stewart Middle
The Pilot Club of Zephyrhills hosted the First Quarter Top Dog winners from Stewart Middle School at a Hungry Howie’s lunch. The club started the program more than 30 years ago to honor students for academics and leadership roles in the school. Those honored were (pictured) Shelby Mills, Serenity Rommel, Arnel Ramdath, Yiting Gao, Adara Cruz, Jeremy Hecker and Dustin Day; and, (not pictured) Beatrice Yarborough and Tatum Suggs.


Student toy drive
Pasco County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mike Moore and the Pasco County District School Board will collect new toys for Pasco County children through its inaugural Holiday Toy Drive, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 27.

All toys will be donated to students through Pasco County District Schools.

Donations of new, unwrapped toys for children ages 5 to 13 can be dropped off at any of these locations:

  • Pasco County Historic Courthouse, 37918 Meridian Ave., Dade City
  • New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills
  • West Pasco Government Center, 8731 Citizens Drive in New Port Richey

Several Pasco County community partners also will accept toy donations.

For information, visit

IB community info nights
The Land O’ Lakes High School International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme will host three IB Community Information Nights for prospective applicants seeking ninth grade admission in the 2018-2019 school year. Parents and guardians of current eighth grade public, charter and private school students can attend to learn about the program. All sessions are from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Nov. 2, Land O’ Lakes High School mini-theater, 20325 Gator Lane, Land O’ Lakes
  • Nov. 7, Weightman Middle School, cafeteria, 30649 Wells Road, Wesley Chapel
  • Nov. 14, Dr. John Long Middle School, cafeteria, 2025 Mansfield Blvd., Wesley Chapel

For information, call Jeff Morgenstein at (813) 794-9429.

Barbecue for veterans
Veterans Elementary School will have a barbecue to honor veterans Nov. 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

If you are a veteran or know a neighbor, community member, or family member who is, call (813) 346-1400 to RSVP by Nov. 3.

Awards program offered
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards will grant two Florida recipients $1,000, a medallion and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C.

Students in grades five through 12 can apply for the awards, if they have made meaningful contributions to their communities within the past 12 months.

The application is available at and

The application deadline is Nov. 7.

Drama club benefit
The 1983 ZHS Alumni will host the “Back in Time” tour with magician Steve Marshall Nov. 7 at 7 p.m., in the Zephyrhills High School Activities Center. The event will benefit the school’s Drama Club. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children age 5 and younger.

For information, call (813) 794-6100.

Holocaust scholar to speak
Victoria Barnett, a scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will present “Theologian against the Nazis: New Questions, New Findings about Dietrich Bonhoeffer” Nov. 9 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Saint Leo University, 33701 State Road 52 in St. Leo.

Admission is free, and the public is invited.

Parties of 15 people or more, and guests who need assistance, are asked to RSVP to ude.o1539882812eltni1539882812as@tf1539882812rodne1539882812ro.re1539882812finne1539882812J1539882812.

 Students lead Florida in independent reading
New River Elementary school finished first in Florida and has been named “Best in the State” in the 2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge for recording 5,536,782 independent reading minutes from May 8 to Sep. 7.

Besides coming in No. 1 in Florida, the school came in second for the nation.

The school has shown consistent improvement in independent reading minutes.

Last year, the school’s students logged more than 2 million minutes, which earned it second place in Florida and a top 10 in the United States.

New River hosted an on-campus student celebration on Oct. 6, where students were rewarded with Kona Ice.

Scholastic plans to feature New River Elementary in their 2018 Book of World Records, and the school will be sent a plaque and celebration kit.

PHSC community seminar
Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch will host a community seminar Nov. 15 at 11 a.m., on “Driving Under the Influence Awareness,” at the school’s conference center, Building B, Room 303, 2727 Mansfield Blvd., in Wesley Chapel.

The seminar is open to students, teachers, staff and the community.

Short story contest
The third annual Stair Prize in Writing contest is open for Hillsborough County students in seventh and eighth grades.

Students can submit a short story based on the theme “An Act of Kindness.”

A $500 cash prize will be awarded to a single winner.

The deadline for entry is Nov. 17.

The prize winner will be notified Dec. 8 and awarded the prize Dec. 20.

For information and details, visit

Free math enrichment programs
Saint Leo University is offering students, parents and teachers two free educational programs to help middle-schoolers develop their confidence and enjoyment of mathematics.

The two programs are:

  • Math Circle, an afterschool activity for middle school students every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Lewis Hall, Room 131, under the direction of Professor Monika Kiss.

The program features hands-on and fun activities. To arrange for a child to participate, or to get more information, email Dr. Kiss at ude.o1539882812eltni1539882812as@ss1539882812ik.ak1539882812inom1539882812, with the words Math Circle in the subject line. Or, call Dr. Kiss at (352) 588-8836.

  • Free entry for middle schools into the American Mathematics Competition at the Saint Leo University campus in November. The national competition, developed by the Mathematical Association of America, seeks to help young students develop positive attitudes about mathematics and analytical thinking by allowing them to apply their classroom learning to a 25-question, multiple-choice exam given in a friendly environment.

Saint Leo is able to accommodate 30 students. The test will be given Nov. 14 at 5:45 p.m., in TECO Hall in the School of Business building. Students have 40 minutes to complete the test, and can learn more at Late registration deadline is Nov. 7.

To participate, parents must contact mathematics Professor Kiss in advance at ude.o1539882812eltni1539882812as@ss1539882812ik.ak1539882812inom1539882812, and include the words AMC 8 in the subject line. Alternately, parents may call Dr. Kiss at (352) 588-8836.

Saint Leo University is at 33701 State Road 52, St. Leo.

Magnet schools earn certification
Six Hillsborough County schools are among the first in the country to earn national certifications awarded by the Magnet Schools of America.

The recognized programs are: Jefferson High School (College Preparatory Leadership Academies); Lee Elementary Magnet of World Studies and Technology; Middleton High School (Pre-Collegiate STEM Academy); Shore Elementary Magnet Center of the Arts; Sligh Middle Magnet for Medical Studies and Explorations; and, Stewart Middle Magnet for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The certificates were given after a nine-month review of the schools, based on Magnet School Standards of Excellence and the five pillars of magnet schools: diversity; innovative curriculum and professional development; academic excellence; high-quality instructional systems; and, family and community partnerships.


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